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World Tourism Day 2022 — history, significance and a thoughtful theme

World Tourism Day 2022 — history, significance and a thoughtful theme

World Tourism Day 2022 — history, significance and a thoughtful theme
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By CNBCTV18.com Sept 27, 2022 7:58:06 AM IST (Published)

As the travel sector bounces back from COVID blows, this year’s World Tourism Day theme, ‘Rethinking Tourism’ seeks to start a debate on sustainable tourism versus development.

World Tourism Day is observed every year on September 27. The objective to celebrate this day is to explore the impact of tourism on the entire planet and the opportunities to grow the sector in a sustainable fashion.

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Tourism is a major source of employment and foreign exchange earnings for both developed and developing countries. The COVID-19 pandemic was a body blow to the tourism sector across the globe. By the end of the first quarter of 2020, the pandemic had brought international travel to an abrupt halt and significantly hampered the tourism industry.

Therefore, World Tourism Day assumes even greater importance. The signs are encouraging for the tourism sector. International tourist arrivals at the start of 2022 were double the level recorded in 2021. In many countries, arrivals are already at pre-pandemic levels.

The lifting of the remaining travel restrictions, alongside rising consumer confidence, will be crucial for the sector’s recovery. The revival of the tourism sector will bring hope and opportunity to millions of people around the world.


The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) observed the first World Tourism Day on September 27, 1980. The date marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Statutes of UNWTO in 1970. These statutes paved the way for the establishment of UNWTO five years later. Ever since 1980, World Tourism Day has been celebrated on the 27th of September every year.


This day underlines the importance of the tourism sector with respect to economic recovery and growth. This year’s World Tourism Day will be celebrated as the shift towards tourism is being recognised as a crucial pillar for development.


This year’s World Tourism Day will have the theme of ‘Rethinking Tourism.’  The thoughtful theme seeks to start the debate around rethinking tourism vis-a-vis development. By choosing this theme, UNWTO essentially wants to bring everyone from governments and businesses to local communities together around a shared vision for a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient tourism sector. 

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